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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Haggard Has “Overseers”

posted by on August 28 at 11:24 AM


Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m officially obsessed—obsessed all over again—with Ted Haggard. Like everyone else, I thought I’d overcome my addiction to the toothy 100% heterosexual cocksucker after he slunk off to Phoenix with the missus. My gratitude to Mike Jones for exposing Haggard—it was absolutely the right thing to do (buy Jones’ book)—would be eternal but not, I assumed, my obsession with Rev. Ted. I had moved on. To Bob Allen, to David Vitter, to Glenn Murphy Jr., to Tommy Tester… and then Ted asks his supporters to put him through school—an online university—by sending checks to him via a registered sex offender… and my obsession comes roaring back.

Anyway, here’s the latest Haggard-related news report to catch my eye. As we’ve mentioned a few dozen times on Slog already, Haggard’s spiritual advisors are on their way to Phoenix. They want to ask Ted a few questions about how exactly he hooked up with this Paul Huberty, the twice-convicted sex offender that’s now distancing himself from Haggard. KVOA reports

Overseers Will Meet With Haggard

Church officials supervising fallen evangelical leader Ted Haggard plan to meet with him today in Phoenix because of an e-mail he sent soliciting donations for himself. Haggard told people they could send money to him or through an organization called Families with a Mission. That group has now been linked to a registered sex offender in Hawaii named Paul Huberty….

The spokesman for New Life Church’s board of overseers says they’ll meet with Haggard today in Phoenix to discuss the e-mail. The Reverend Michael Ware says he hadn’t heard of Huberty or the organization before.

He says Haggard sent the e-mail before the board of overseers could discuss whether he could work in the halfway house.

Excuse me, but… Haggard has overseers? Wasn’t the position of “overseer” eliminated at the end of the Civil War? Why is Haggard putting up with this “overseer” bullshit? They must have some sort of financial hold over Haggard, I guess, some severance check Haggard won’t ever see if he doesn’t keep his overseers happy—and they’re clearly not happy with ol’ Ted right now.

Still, I wonder how long it’ll be before Haggard—or his wife—buckles under the strain of this—what? This indentured servitude? This spiritual slavery? How long can Haggard function in this slave-like state, having to clear everything with his “overseers” back in Colorado Springs—everything from where he lives to where he works to where he instructs his “supporters” to send checks—before he snaps? How long before Ted decides to flee this bizarre plantation/purgatory? How long before Ted is back on meth and man ass?

RSS icon Comments


Mmmm, haggis.

Posted by Katelyn | August 28, 2007 11:29 AM

You're being sarcastic, right?

Many highly reputable organizations call their executive boards or directors the "Board of Overseers". If it wouldn't trigger your spam filter for having too many URLs, I'd link to the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, the Harvard Board of Overseers, Penn Dental School's Board of Overseers, and so forth.

Here -- give it a shot on Google...

Posted by N in Seattle | August 28, 2007 11:34 AM

Dammit, Dan. Now you've gone and made me almost ... feel sorry for Ted.

Posted by arduous | August 28, 2007 11:35 AM


Posted by Mr. Poe | August 28, 2007 11:37 AM

"overseers" are sometimes also called "elders" in the church, and in most fundamental churches, the elders are who actually (are supposed to) run things. remember bob moorehead and his "elders". usually the senior pastor is an elder. elders are responsible for church discipline and what not.

ted might want to return to new life, but he in some form submitted to these elders. it may be because he's getting something out of it (retirement, house payments, ???), or because he sincerely wants to be a fundamentalist christian despite the internal struggle he faces with his natural desires. mmmmmmm... desires....

i've decided to title my comment, "ask a former fundie."

Posted by infrequent | August 28, 2007 11:37 AM

So, when are they outing that closeted Republican Senator from South Carolina that keeps speaking on "family values" issues?

Just wondering.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 28, 2007 11:58 AM

I have to say that we here in Colorado Springs are still plenty bored with Ted. His influene is now that of a mime's over an army of the blind. However, New Life just elected a new Pastor, and we'd certainly love to see the whole organization and the culture that continues to poison the culture in this town go down in flames of another internal scandal. If Ted can help facilitate this in any way, we're thrilled. So thanks, Dan and Sloggers, for keeping the dream alive. You're working harder than the local reporters, ourselves included!

Posted by Noel Black | August 28, 2007 12:25 PM

If a "cured" Xtian post-homo needs "overseers" it certainly calls into question said "cure."

Queer Nation should regroup and organize a liberation front, kidnap Haggard and de- (or is it re- ?) program him in a closet with bette davis movies and house music. or maybe the Colt Studio can organize a rescue party?

Did someone say party?

Haggard could be the queer's Patty Hearst/Tanya. Or is it he already IS that for the fundies?

Posted by andy niable | August 28, 2007 12:27 PM

Am I the only one who sees the irony of meth-bottom Ted having an "Overseer". Heh, heh, I bet his "overseer" comes complete with a whip, chaps, and a codpiece.

Posted by Providence | August 28, 2007 12:33 PM


What I don't get is why the New Life Church board of overseers (aka elders aka directors) is still involved with Haggard after firing him. Unless, of course, they got him to agree to certain stipulations for getting his severance pay.

Gee, think they'll ask for their money back?

Posted by JenK | August 28, 2007 12:47 PM

why submit?

i can think of three reasons:

1) he has to in order to receive serverence pay or some other tangible benefit

2) he sincerely believes in this church, and submitted to it's authority over him

3) he wants a job in the ministry later, and must -- in order to have credibility in christian circles -- submit to the elders. an overseer might mean nothing here, but to christians that goes a long way to establishing credibility. seriously. ask any fundie.

Posted by infrequent | August 28, 2007 12:50 PM

I was about to say "oh, boo hoo!" at that last paragraph. Then I got to the last sentence. Heh.

Posted by Tlazolteotl | August 28, 2007 1:06 PM

Fundi-ism is like the mafia; once you're in, YOU'RE IN. The Overseer handle is just a nice way of saying "Hitmen for Jesus".

...tonight, Teddie sleeps with the fishes.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | August 28, 2007 1:10 PM

Am I the only one who looks at that photo and imagines Ted saying to the camera, "Pull my finger!"?

Posted by COMTE | August 28, 2007 1:46 PM

Put that finger away, daddy-o, or I cut it off.

Posted by Fnarf | August 28, 2007 1:49 PM

The fundie above is right about the 'overseer' thing. 'Submitting' to someone is part of a theology of 'discipleship'. There isn't a separate rationale for it - everyone is supposed to be personally accountible for his actions and thoughts to someone else. I grew up with this stuff. Isn't it charming?

Posted by Gary Zinter | August 28, 2007 2:26 PM

The fundie above is right about the 'overseer' thing. 'Submitting' to someone is part of a theology of 'discipleship'. There isn't a separate rationale for it - everyone is supposed to be personally accountible for his actions and thoughts to someone else. I grew up with this stuff. Isn't it charming?

Posted by Gary Zinter | August 28, 2007 2:26 PM

As my dear, departed Aunt Zoo Zoo would say, "You are in pig heaven, Dan!"

I must say it's all brought a nice smile to my face today. Larry Craig, this Haggard madness. When I read about those idiot Seahawks making Bush an honorary rich twat or whatever they did, I actually wondered if it would be possible to press charges against them, for treason or something.

Blame it on the herb.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | August 28, 2007 2:43 PM

Dan's obsession with the ignorant Christian goi is Tikkim Olam for our community.

Judaism is a non-hierarchical religion and there is no body of men that "oversees" others. The toxic belief system of the Christians creates this perverted organizational structure.

Judaism is superior in all ways to every other religion because tzedek is realized with every Jewish boy born on this planet.

Posted by Issur | August 28, 2007 2:56 PM

"tzedek" is that like "Santorum"?

Posted by Ignorant Goi | August 28, 2007 3:12 PM

Actually Ignorant Goi, I think Tikkim Olam is like Santorum.

Posted by chris | August 28, 2007 4:08 PM

9 News in Denver has expanded a bit on the story. Nothing really too new except this part:

"In the e-mail sent to KRDO-TV, Haggard said that he and his family were moving into an apartment in the Dream Center in Phoenix in October......The Dream Center is run by Pastor Tommy Barnett, another one of the overseers of the New Life Church. He was appointed to oversee Haggard's "spiritual restoration." Barnett heads up the 15,000 member mega-church Phoenix First Assembly of God."

Very interesting. The Dream Center, where Haggard is now not going to live or work on his lofty goals, has as its head pastor one of his overseers who happens to be an overseer of the church Haggard was fired from. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.

Posted by Dave Coffman | August 28, 2007 6:10 PM

Just for the record, Dave I appreciate your work, but I am the one urging 9News to do more. They are the station who I went to when I broke the story. If any station will seek additional details it will be them.

Posted by mike jones | August 28, 2007 8:03 PM

That's good Mike... I'm glad to see that a variety of media outlets are continuing to press it. They need to get to make sure that the whole story comes out.

Posted by Dave Coffman | August 28, 2007 11:25 PM

I hope everyone knows this, but Issur@19 is a total wingnut. I'm also a jew, and beleive that judaism is also a hierarchical religion and no better than any other. we have our crazy fundamentalists oppressing other just like other religions. Tikkun Olam can be translated as "heal the world" I was taught as a kid that that meant doing good deeds and, you know, "making the world a better place." Dave Coffman's investigative journalism could fall under that heading.
Tsedek means justice. I have no clue how boy jewish babies being born makes any more justice in the world. misogynous pig.
And PS. calling someone a goy is rude.

Posted by Philly | August 29, 2007 6:51 AM

Interestingly, the word "bishop" descends directly from the Greek episkopos, which means "overseer".

And as an atheist raised Catholic, I don't particularly object to being called a goy. I mean, I am one, so whatever, you know?

Posted by Brian X | August 29, 2007 8:25 PM

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